Pretty P.O.V.: Kevin.Murphy Color.Bug Friday 29 June, 2012
Last year, a hairdresser introduced a colleague of mine to Kevin.Murphy Color.Bugs. The way she described the cute critters: Temporary color, much like a chalk, that can easily be applied to the hair and be washed out that same day. My ears instantly perked up. At that point, the chalking craze had not struck; this […]
Last year, a hairdresser introduced a colleague of mine to Kevin.Murphy Color.Bugs. The way she described the cute critters: Temporary color, much like a chalk, that can easily be applied to the hair and be washed out that same day. My ears instantly perked up. At that point, the chalking craze had not struck; this idea of color powder that isn’t a spray was very intriguing. I sought out the little “bugs,” and when I finally had them in my possession, I set to work doing what I’d wanted to do to my hair, but hadn’t committed to yet: dip-dying my ends in a pastel hue.
Let’s delve into these little pods: The dome-shaped bug has a flat side with a plastic lid. When you remove the lid, you have a flat panel of colored chalk (known as a “color pad”). The idea is that you grip the dome with one hand (it even has finger slots!) while using your other hand to press your hair against the chalk. You then slide the pod against your hair, pressing as you go. Easy enough.
(Snow day + lavender tips = some lavender-stained snow.)
Well, let’s just say this: Color.Bugs aren’t exactly meant for dip-dying. Let me explain. The powdery colorant is extremely soft. So much so, when you run it over your hair, a fine dust of the stuff falls all around you. What this translates to when you’re doing a large portion of your hair (i.e. dip-dying): a floor that matches your ends. My advice: Don’t attempt chalking your hair with Color.Bugs over a carpet or rug you care about. Always stand on tile or a wood floor where you can easily mop away the aftermath. (Somebody learned this the hard way.)
Also what this means: You need to wear something you don’t care about during the application period. The company suggests putting a towel over your shoulders; I find this cumbersome. A dingy T-shirt works perfectly—use it.
When I finished “bugging out,” I massaged the color into my strands as recommended, and then grabbed a can of hairspray and sprayed the hell out of my ends to seal in the color. But, to my dismay, each time I dip-dyed with Color.Bugs, despite shellacking a fortress of lacquer around my tips, the color wore off on my clothing. (This is not unique to Color.Bugs; it’s actually happened with all of the other “chalk” colorants, like Hair Flare Color Rub, I’ve used. Maybe a temporary sealing system should be developed?) This wasn’t a huge deal; it washed off easily enough. But, I looked silly with pink or lavender or orange on my clothes—and my husband never ceased to remind me of this fact.
Another reason to skip the dip-dye: Though the dome appears to contain a lot of chalk, the “color pad” is only a quarter-of-an-inch or so deep. Dip-dying doesn’t serve to conserve the chalk; you tend to use up a lot of it in just one sitting if you choose to color your tips to your mid-lengths.
(Pink-tipped while styling a photo shoot)
Where the Color.Bug does excel is in streaking—it’s very cheeky like that! What I mean is: When you apply it as a highlight from root to tip in a few areas, there are no issues with color wearing off on clothing or skin. So if you seek brightly colored streaks, this is your bug. Plus: When you streak, you use less chalk, hence your bug lasts longer. And, because you are only depositing color as streaks, that fine mist of dust is practically nonexistent.
I tried out all three colors—Pink, Purple and Orange—and as logic would have it, the lighter your hair, the brighter the results. The purple is deep—practically violet—but I found if you apply the color and then brush through it, you can soften up the hue to a lovely lavender quite easily. The Orange (seen in the main image above) looks like a fiery red when applied, but can also be softened up with the old brush-through trick.
When the time came to wash out my new-found hair hues, the color removed like a dream; I had no issues with color retention, despite the fact that my ends are bleached and fried. However, the company does warn that double-process blondes may find that they need to wash their strands a few times to wave goodbye to the color.
One last note about chalking in general: My thoughts are that streaks are the way to go with ANY chalk, not simply because of the mess factor, but because chalk is a powder. Powder inherently dulls hair, giving it a matte texture. So if you decide to chalk a large section of hair—say, your ends to your mid-lengths—you risk dulling the finish. And we all want our ends to look shiny and healthy, rather than spotlight their inadequacies (split ends, frizz, etc.).
Recently I streaked a few pieces around my face in all three hues, starting with purple fading into orange fading into pink. It was easy; it was temporary; it was beyond cool-looking; there was no fuss or mess. Streaks, people. Keep it to the streaks.
Get your temporary color on with Kevin.Murphy Color.Bugs at kevinmurphy.com.au.